He just got healthy, too. Jordan Luplow sure had some interesting timing on his return from injury, as the Indians dealt him to the Tampa Bay Rays on his first day back, alongside D.J. Johnson. They got back Peyton Battenfield, a young pitcher.
Luplow, who was excelling in the home run department for the Tribe to start the season had seven home runs in just 36 games but only posted a .173 batting average in the same time frame. Luplow had a great debut season with the Indians in 2019, hitting .276 while belting 15 home runs in just half a season of play. The hope was that in a full season he’d put up huge numbers but in 2020 he struggled to find consistency at the plate, hitting just two home runs in 29 games.
His departure hurts the Tribe’s ability to hit home runs but the team is clearly no longer interested in sacrificing consistent production for eventual power.
D.J. Johnson is a name you might not know if you aren’t paying attention. He’s a 31-year-old right-hander who only pitched 1.2 innings for the Indians this year. He was a throw-in player.
The Tribe got back Peyton Battenfield, who wasn’t a Top 50 prospect for the Tampa Bay Rays but was someone who was on the rise. He’s 5-0 across A+ and Double-A ball while posting a combined 2.13 ERA, with 95 strikeouts and 12 walks against just 67.1 innings pitched. Like with the Hernandez trade, Battenfield may not be a big name, yet but he could be really interesting to watch. Considering all they had to give up was Luplow, this bolds well.
A part of me thinks Jordan Luplow could’ve produced and done well for the Tribe, but another part of me that knows 2019 was a fluke.